Vaihi introduced itself as a unique entity in local music with its debut album in 1997. Eight years later the quartet is still continuing to refine its imaginative blend of Hawaiian, Tahitian and mainstream American pop music. Their last album was entirely Tahitian albeit with a few English lyrics. With “Harmony” they return to the American mainstream but with much of the same Polynesian consciousness.
A cappella harmonies continue to be the foundation of the quartet’s backyard sound. The high falsetto of Samuela “Braddah Sam” Langi Jr. is another important ingredient. A knack for providing percussion effects with old-style beat-boxing is a third. Once again, Vaihi’s refreshing use of sound — voices, instruments, studio effects — makes their work interesting musically as well as for the positive messages contained in the lyrics.
In a market in which far too many acts dedicate themselves to copying other acts’ ideas, Vaihi sets an important example with its originality.
John Berger Honolulu Star Bulletin
This one’s already a crowd favorite; the title tune, rendered virtually a cappella, demonstrates the free-flowing joy that Vaihi elicits. The 10-title song mix includes a sweet ballad, “Never Letting You Go” (with lead vocal by Zynfia Sakulsinghdusit); “My Smylyn Girl,” a lullaby sung by daddy to daughter; “Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong,” a playful journey into making the right moves to woo a wahine; and “Moment by Moment,” a tender and romantic ballad. Other cuts provide reassuring evidence that creativity lurks in the ranks.
The outlook: With original material, Vaihi continues to show growth and expression that fuel its vision as a leader, not a follower.
Our take: Better now than never to discover the virtues of Vaihi.
Wayne Harada Honolulu Advertiser